DiscoverThe BRINK OF MIDNIGHT PODCAST with John Brenkus


Author: Brink of Midnight, LLC

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After hosting over 1500 segments of 'Sport Science,' 6x Emmy Award-winning host and NYT Best-selling author, John Brenkus, recognized that high achievers tend to share a similar story of attaining success that's driven by hard work and tough choices, accompanied by some moments that are simply divine.

Through 'The Brink of Midnight Podcast', John explores the moments that guests credit with changing their lives forever...those that pushed them in an unexpected direction, shaping the experiences that followed and molding them into the people who they are today.

This podcast is all about good news and features positive messages, inspiring our audience to live a fulfilling, authentic life. Guests include luminaries in sport, entertainment, business, tech, philanthropy, and many other different walks of life.
93 Episodes
DAVID BURKUS, Best-Selling Author, Thought Leader: Redefining Networking
David Burkus (@davidburkus), thought leader, multi best-selling author, & networking expert joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus. David Burkus is on a mission to translate and bring the best, scientifically-based ideas out of the ivory tower and into the offices, coffee shops, and meeting rooms where good work is done. From the theories of how creativity is generated to best practices in leadership and management, and now to redefining what good networking looks like, David is making an impact across all spectrums of work and life. Outside of his best-selling books, you can find his insights in Forbes, Inc., the Ted Talks stage, and many other outlets. He speaks around the world and works with organizations like Google, Fidelity, Microsoft, and many others. In this conversation, we dive into the nitty gritty from his recently published book, “Friend of a Friend: Understanding the Hidden Networks That Can Transform Your Life and Career”. He turns the idea of those awkward “What do you do?” conversations on it’s head to help us understand that we don’t create a network, we live inside one. David also gives us actionable steps on how to approach networking from the elevator pitch to extended conversations, tells us common pitfalls and what NOT to do, and how to think about the role that social media plays. He then looks through the lens of society at large, describing how networks form and how the danger of defaulting only to what is familiar to us can lead to division of groups. Especially poignant in today’s political climate, he illustrates how and why we need to start intentionally creating opportunities to move outside our default network to learn from others and have dialogue with a diverse set of opinions. This conversation is fully of takeaways that you can immediately apply to your work and life, and his ideas will keep you thinking long into the weeks and months ahead! For full show notes, visit: | Contact: | Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_
DANIELLA MONET, Actress, Nickelodeon Star, Activist: Seizing Opportunity
Daniella Monet (@daniellamonet), actress, Nickelodeon star, and activist, joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus.  Daniella Monet is a doer, a dreamer, a believer, and has mastered the art of living creatively at the age of 29. She’s worked in Hollywood since the age of nine and is most well known for roles on hit TV shows like “Victorious”, “iCarly", "The Bernie Mac Show", "Listen Up!", and most recently "Paradise Run". She's become a significant player in new media with her Facebook Watch show "D Takes Your V Card", which exposes guests to vegan food and shares ideas and resources for an animal product and cruelty-free lifestyle. Daniella works with a fantastic roster of ethical and cruelty-free brands and shares her knowledge and experiences with her massive social media following. But, her goals in life go way beyond acting and her media presence. She's the ultimate entrepreneur and willing to try her hand in anything she's curious about. She owned her first property at 17, became a landlord at 18, has her real estate license, is an angel investor, rides motorcycles, and so much more...she is well aware of her one life and embodies the idea of "carpe diem" every day. Listen and learn from this young, but old soul and you'll be inspired to start trying new things - whether it's a vegan sandwich or something you never thought you'd do! For full show notes, visit: | Contact: | Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_ (twitter)
JENNIFER FERRO, KCRW President/GM: On Culture
Jennifer Ferro (@jenniferro), President and General Manager of world renown L.A. public radio station KCRW (@kcrw), joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus. Founded in 1945, KCRW (College Radio Workshop), was originally created to train WWII veterans in the then new technology of FM broadcasting and ever since has blazed a trail in influencing culture, particularly in music and breaking bands, in a profound way. Jennifer truly embodies what KCRW is all about - building community around shared values while having fun, and all in an effort to make life better. She got her start as an intern and it was the vibe, intelligence, and values of the station that kept her. In a world of paid social media influencers, bloggers, and constant marketing, Jennifer and her team of trusted culture curators offer a refreshing take on what is great from music, to food, to entertainment, to ideas. A mom of two, she has a grounded view on creating equilibrium with family, work, life, and wellness. In this conversation, Jennifer graciously pulls back the curtain on what it takes to make it all work while committing to growth and real, human connection. She also throws in the fun story of how Fitz and the Tantrums blew up from their first appearance on KCRW and a chance listen by Maroon 5's Adam Levine! For full show notes, visit: | Contact: | Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_
KELLEY JAMES, Musician with MARC ROBERGE, O.A.R. Lead Singer: Put Yourself Out There
Renown musician and freestyle rapper, Kelley James (@kelleyjamesmusic), and special guest, O.A.R. lead singer, Marc Roberge (@marcroberge) join The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus. Kelley James has carved out a unique niche in the music world. Sought out out for being a high profile event performer and freestyle rapper, he’s played over 1000 shows to date and has toured and opened for acts like Kid Rock, Robin Thicke, LMFAO, Goo Goo Dolls, Sara Bareilles, Weezer, and O.A.R., among many others. Even more impressive is the roster of companies where Kelley is often the featured act: Oakley, Red Bull, Vans, Corona, Honda, AT&T, Google, Spin Magazine, Wheels Up, and more. Kelley got his start as a singer songwriter, but soon realized that his strength was harnessing the combination of his own musical ability, what’s happening in the moment, news and pop culture, and creating a crazy, unique experience. No two shows are alike and Kelley prides himself on genuinely surrendering to being in the flow, whether that’s freestyle rapping, playing guitar, channeling grunge or pop, or mashing it all up. In this conversation, he hones in on what can help us all climb whatever mountain we’re on and it comes down to getting really honest with yourself, asking for constructive criticism at every point, and being willing to put yourself out there knowing full well that you will fail, but grow, along the way. This episode gets really special when Kelley invites close friend and O.A.R. lead singer, Marc Roberge, to join the conversation and share how his band got their start. Marc offers up some great gems on what it takes to make it, and then Kelley and Mark treat us with a surprise jam session! Marc hops on the guitar while Kelley freestyle raps on the topic of what else -- life-changing moments!   For full show notes, visit: | Contact: | Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_ (twitter)
RIC BUCHER, Sports Analyst, Sirius/XM Radio Host: On Storytelling
Sports analyst, Sirius/XM Radio Host, and master storyteller, Ric Bucher (@RicBucher) joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus. Ric Bucher is one of the most well-known and respected sports journalists, analysts, and hosts of today's sports world. His deep insights and coverage have connected us to powerful sports stories and the best of humanity. He hosts shows for MadDog Sports and the NBA on Sirius/XM, is the Senior Writer for Bleacher Report, and co-hosts the "BJ x Bucher Podcast" with NBA star BJ Armstrong.  Ric's resume includes work at top media outlets like ESPN, ESPN the Magazine, Comcast, and The Washington Post, but his start in journalism will surprise you. He shares how being turned down for big jobs out of college and taking a low-paying job covering high school sports in San Diego was his turning point as a storyteller. He was forced to discover his process for finding captivating stories, and to this day, he does it all himself because of his pure love of the craft. This conversation is especially powerful in terms of highlighting how a perceived failure can create the foundation for finding our calling. Ric teaches us how to find and chase our passions and how ask the right questions to put us on our unique paths. For full show notes, visit: | Contact: | Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_
PAUL RABIL, Lacrosse Legend, Entrepreneur: The Key to Happiness is Empathy
Professional lacrosse player, entrepreneur, and storyteller, Paul Rabil (@paulrabil), joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus.  He's been called "the most tech-savvie athlete of 2017", the "Lebron James of Lacrosse" by the New York Times, and was named a "Top 40 Most entrepreneurial athlete" by Entrepreneur Magazine. He's appeared on or authored pieces in just about every media outlet, has his own well-known "Suiting Up with Paul Rabil" Podcast, and it was when Paul came into the ESPN Sport Science lab that he and I met. Paul is best known for being the current face of lacrosse. He played for Johns Hopkins University, went #1 overall in the 2008 MLL draft, is a two-time MLL Champion, and whopping 10-time All Star. His accomplishments on the lacrosse field are undeniable and he's on a mission to help share and improve the game, but also to use sport and his platform to change lives for the better in any way he can. Paul, in a word, is fascinating. He operates at a high level with everything that he does. Most impressively, he applies that ethic every day in how he can improve not only on the lacrosse field and in his businesses, but as a person and in his relationships. In this conversation, Paul shares never-before-told stories, breaks down how he approaches practice, the ethos of his company, and how to handle criticism.  For full show notes, visit | Contact: | Connect on socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_
SHANTI DAS, Music Vet & Founder, Silence the Shame
Music veteran, Hip Hop Professional creator, and founder of the "Silence the Shame" movement, Shanti Das, joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus.   Shanti Das is a name popular with some of the most successful urban artists including Outkast, Usher, Toni Braxton, TLC, Jermaine Dupri, Prince, and L.A. Reid, among many others. She climbed her way to the top of music marketing working at La Face Records, Capitol Records, Arista, Columbia, and finally at Universal as their Executive Vice President of Marketing. She had it all going on, beloved by countless artists and music professionals, but no one really knew of the periods of darkness and depression Shanti would experience with her unprocessed feelings from her father's suicide. One particular dark moment, after contemplating ending her life, she reached out for help and began the process of true healing and now she's made it her mission to help others battling the same darkness.    Out of her most difficult time, the seed was planted for what would become her "Silence the Shame" movement for mental wellness and advocacy. She is peeling back the layers of shame and stigma surrounding mental health issues, touring the country, helping students, collaborating on research with Emory University, and sparking dialogue with the help of friends from the music industry including: Nick Cannon, Bell Biv DeVoe (BBD), Estelle, Andra Day, Will Packer, Stephanie Mills, Takeo Spikes, Chloe X Halle, Shanice, Flex Alexander, Terri J Vaughn, Nicci Gilbert Daniels and Ed Lover. Shanti, like the meaning of her name, is bringing peace to the masses and helping save lives. In this poignant conversation, Shanti bravely tells her story, educates, and provides tools for anyone in need. She believes "peace is the new success" and that when we can all help each other out, we all win!   For full show notes, visit: | Contact: | Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_
ERIC the TRAINER, Celebrity Trainer: Intention is Everything
Celebrity trainer and host of Discovery Channel's "Celebrity Sweat", "Eric the Trainer" joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus.   Take one look at Eric the Trainer (Eric Fleishman) and a ripped comic book character origin story comes to mind. For the last 27 years, he's worked with UFC fighters, police officers, special forces, and celebrities and artists across the spectrum of entertainment and music. He is especially well-known for his methods of total transformation and his roster, among countless clients, includes: Nickelback, Def Leppard, Fallout Boy, The Strokes, the casts of "House of Cards", "Game of Thrones", "Walking Dead", "Mindhunter", "Seal Time", countless movie starts, and many on-air personalities. A glance at the extensive roster of "Celebrity Sweat" guests will show you Eric really knows what he's talking about. He's also the Fitness Director for the American Culinary Federation (ACF), helping the best chefs do what they do best through health and wellness.   But it's not just about physical transformation...from rural Maine farm boy (with the nickname "Squeaky"), Eric transformed his life from the inside out and apprenticed under the great fitness and health pioneer, Jack Lalane. As in his own daily life, he helps people through a holistic approach, including East/West lenses, and working backward from intention to make new habit-forming change.   For full show notes, visit: | Contact: |Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_
PHIL COLLEN, Def Leppard Lead Guitarist: Your Destiny is Up To You
Phil Collen, lead guitarist and songwriter for legendary rock band, Def Leppard, joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast with John Brenkus.   Def Leppard is one of only a few bands to receive two Diamond records (over 10 million copies sold for each; for “Hysteria” and “Pyromania”) and have been together for over 36 years. In this special episode, we turn back the clock with Phil Collen as he takes us through his musical journey and the evolution of Def Leppard. At the beginning of our conversation, he graciously sits down with his guitar and breaks down the creation of hits like “Hysteria”, “Pour Some Sugar on Me”, “Armageddon It”, “Love Bites”, “Rock It”, among others, sharing behind-the-scenes stories that will make 80s and rock fans feel like they’re playing and singing right in the studio with Phil.   Raised in London by parents who survived WWWII, he learned at a young age an incredible work ethic and not to take anything for granted. Those values are the foundation of Phil’s every day, whether that’s writing and recording songs, performing in arenas across the globe, being a dad, practicing martial arts, or raising awareness for causes he supports (PETA and Omaze).   Brush off your air guitar skills and get ready to rock with a VIP seat to music history courtesy of Phil Collen!   For full show notes, visit: | Contact: | Connect on Socials: @brinkofmidnight (twitter, instagram, Facebook) and @johnbrenkus_
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